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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Us 22, Romney 21, America 18, Newt Gingrich 12, Obama 11, Afghanistan 10, Barack Obama 10, Chuck Schumer 9, U.s. 9, Mitt Romney 9, Dylan 9, Newt 9, Donald Trump 8, Israel 8, Georgia 8, Florida 8, Joe 8, Gingrich 6, Willie 6, Chuck Todd 6,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    February 2, 2012
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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all right. time for a quick e-mail, john tower, what do you got? >> i got somebody who writes, i'm about to start cooking for the super bowl, i'm making shrimp jumbolayah, and smoked oyster crunchies. >> where's that super bowl party? i need to go to that one. all i've got is a bag of tostitos and the old el paso. that's my extent. no oysters or shrimp. "morning joe," believe it or not, starts right now. ♪
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we could raise taxes on people, that's not the way -- >> corporations. >> corporations are people, my friend. >> i should also tell my story. i'm also an employee. >> $10,000? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> okay. >> i know what it's like to worry whether you're going to get fired. there were a couple of times i wondered if i was going to get a pink slip. >> if you don't like what they do, you can fire them. i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> we have a safety net there. i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. >> okay, then. good morning. we go from that to that. it is thursday. >> and what is that? >> february 2nd, groundhog day. that's a big day in punxsutawney, pennsylvania. all right. welcome to "morning joe," everyone. willie? >> i think willie would agree,
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one of the greatest movies of our time. >> never gets old. >> of all time. any time. >> any time. >> that's why i went to willie because you didn't see "groundhog day." >> no, i didn't. >> mika. >> it's that bad? >> it's more than one of the great movies, it's like a deep philosophical -- it's like, you know, let's start the show over. >> from gobbler's knob? >> i like when she says gobbler's knob. >> that's like those trippers in miami. >> you're thinking of tip jar. >> tip jar. terrible. >> it's 6:00 a.m. let's stop there. >> it's a wonderful life on christmas, groundhog day on groundhog day. >> it's not even friday. >> here's the idea, mika. bill murray wakes up and he keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again. >> right. >> until he gets a chance to get his day just right. and when he gets his day just
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right, finally he gets to move on to february 3rd. i hope you've seen the movie at home. >> talk about a spoiler alert. >> what a silly idea for a movie. >> mitt romney's sort of caught in his own groundhog day. >> good point. good point. >> every day. what's he thinking? >> i saw a lot of liberals yesterday saying, there's nothing. it's the conservatives that are wringing their hands and sweating going this is the guy that we're -- >> it's -- >> whether it's the "wall street journal" or jonah goldberg the "national review," erick erickson, rush limbaugh even weighed in on this thing going, come on, don't make it so easy for the democrats. >> it doesn't help with a certain narrative that might not be good for him for this presidential election. i'll leave it there. >> at least he's not rich. that's the thing. >> no, he's filthy rich, actually, but that's okay.
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>> see, that's the difference between democrats and republicans. republicans don't think you can ever be "filthy rich." >> you can't be rich enough. can you? you have to devour everything. >> absolutely. >> you don't really care about the impact it has on your life or your future. >> well, i think, you know, there are two impacts. the obvious thing, it adds another clip to david axelrod's greatest hits reel he can run as that caricature mitt romney as ritchie rich, and that's all true. but i think, joe, you're pointing to something important which is, you know, conservatives -- it fuels -- establishmentarians, it fuels their sense of concern. the paramount strategic challenge of any presidential campaign for a candidate and his staff is to control your public image, that's what a presidential campaign is. people trying to define each other, he is making the president's and his reelection
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team's job easy. and a lot of republicans look at that and say, man, this guy keeps making the same mistake over and over again. and the president's going to pull the wings off of him like a fly under a microscope. >> and this is a guy that's supposed to be inevitable. this is a guy that's supposed to be the best bet to beat barack obama, and he does things like this. and it -- it actually tears the wings off the inevitability argument. >> well, he is inevitable, i think, as the republican nominee, but it does challenge the strategy. if the strategy is to make the election a referendum on barack obama and the economy, you don't want to make the election a referendum on yourself. puts the focus on himself rather than on the economy, rather than on barack obama and that goes against his own strategy. >> we have afghanistan and iran in the news this morning, which is why richard haas has been called in early. >> john heilemann is here too. >> for reasons unknown. >> donald trump's in the news today. >> i needed to borrow some money, that's why i needed richard in.
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>> all right. so back on this topic, here's the former massachusetts governor yesterday morning. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there, if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing fine. i'm concerned about the heart of america. >> i said i'm not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net. we will hear from the democrat party, the plight of the poor, and there's no question, it's not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor, but my campaign is focused on middle-income americans. my campaign, you can choose where to focus. you can focus on the rich, that's not my focus, you can focus on the very poor, that's not my focus. >> so we have growing numbers of poor in this country -- >> this is not good. >> romney spent much of the day trying to walk back those
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remarks explaining that the poorest americans are backed by programs like food stamps and housing vouchers which aren't available to middle-income americans. but many conservative commentators took issue with romney's comments. redstate.com's erick erickson
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we need obama to be the topic. what evidence is it or is there that it's not going to be about romney with these kinds of statements? >> you know, that's -- that's actually the point of the day. we've been hearing all along that, oh, if you nominate newt, it's going to be about newt. and yes, if you nominate newt, it's going to be all about newt. but the idea was you could turn the focus on romney -- on obama if you put romney in there. but i'm telling you, with every one of these gaffes, he's coming off a huge win in florida. >> yeah. >> they should be talking about this. again, i -- and i don't know personally. i hear that the words were wretched out of the proper context. i don't know how anybody that's had any exposure to the "very poor" could even allow the words i'm not concerned about the very
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poor to cross their lips. and i -- i don't want to say self-righteous here, and i'm not kicking mitt romney when he's down, i'm just saying for me as a conservative even, i'm concerned when i hear somebody say i'm not focused or concerned about the very poor. we've -- we've seen the very poor, not as much as i know a lot of people but i don't know anyone that says that. there's a disconnect there. >> you're not campaigning, but you do a three-hour show every day with no teleprompter and have to watch your words every day. and don't do a great job every day. hold on, let me finish. but still, i think that actually adds to your point, those words would not cross your lips. they wouldn't. there are things that wouldn't happen. and they are with this candidate. >> and it suggests there's a real disconnect.
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the i like the fire people -- >> yes. >> i know what he meant when he said i like to fire people. >> know what he meant. >> but enough of those things where -- yeah, and i know what it feels like to be unemployed. no, you don't, mitt. your father ran a huge car company. >> mitt says -- >> he ran a powerful company. a lot of our children are not going to have to worry as much as i know some of us here had to worry growing up. am i going to be able to take care of a family? am i going to be able to go to a good school? there's a disconnect there that's really troubling. >> i think if you make this -- there are slip-ups that you sometimes make. you say things inelegantly and artfully and i think the press jumps on those and takes them out of context and it's unfair to people. the problem he's done it over and over again and it starts to raise the question -- rush says
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it makes it easy to paint a picture of him as a prototypical republican. and many start to think maybe he is. you remember back when jack kempf was a very conservative guy. because he was really concerned about the very poor. he was trying to figure out a way in an active way all the time. he was a republican vice presidential nominee in 1996. he made part of his conservative agenda, how do we use the tools to help the worst off? >> and he would come to our caucus in '95 and '96. now, jack, of course, not the greatest debater on the planet in '96 either. but he would come to our republican caucus and hammer us about the poor. >> yeah. >> said make sure that whatever you do, whatever your plans are, you've got to -- how does it help the very poor? how does it help the middle class? how does it help the working class? >> willie, the "wall street
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journal" speaks out about this this morning. >> an editorial attempting to defend mitt romney on this. they write in part, mitt romney's failures to communicate are common among businessmen. still, his business now is politics. and as the republican front-runner, he's got an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address america's current problems. they go on to say, it's probably time to stop pretending that you can relate to people who have troubles. embrace who you are. you are mitt romney, you succeeded, you are a wealthy guy. this deal about going out and trying to reach out and show that you can relate to the problems of the people comes across as inauthentic because it is. >> and you know, richard, in 1998 when george h.w. bush was running with a million different problems, he let everybody know he drove around washington listening to country music.
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no, i don't want to hear that. be a leader, be who you are, stop pretending you're something that you're not. i just -- we may have the same situation here with mitt romney. he doesn't -- don't tell people you know what it's like to possibly be fired or have a pink slip because you don't. >> one of his potential advantages in the race is the fact he is a successful businessman, he is a good manager, the economy is obviously the biggest issue in the election. so focusing on that makes the most sense. >> and you know, john kennedy never said, hey, i feel your pain. you know? fdr -- here's a great example. my parents, my mom born 1932 in the depths of the great depression in rural georgia. and it was hard to be much poorer. >> right. >> than my family was in dalton, georgia. it wasn't just my family, it was everybody. boy, it was a bitter, bitter landscape in rural georgia in 1932.
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my family thought fdr was god. my mom said in '45 on the day that he died that they all went -- they thought the country was coming to an end. they revered him like a king. he was remarkable. and yet, fdr never once tried to relate to my family in rural georgia. he was fdr. he was a very rich man from a very wealthy new york family. and my family didn't give a damn, they loved him. >> partly because he had an array of policies that were designed to help them, and they identified with those policies because although he didn't pretend to be the common man, he tried to implement actual policies that would help the plight of the poor. if mitt romney and his campaign want to demonstrate that he cares about average americans and poor americans, one thing they could do is they could aggressively campaign on policies that would help those people and explain how his
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platform, things he cares about, things he wants to do as president would help those people and not worry about whether he relates to them. talk about what you're actually going to do to fix the problem. >> and if you believe like i believe that a lot of liberal policies going from 1965 forward have actually made the situation worse for inner cities, for the very poor, for the truly disadvantaged, explain that. have that debate. don't just talk about how lowering capital gains rates are going to help spark business creation. if you're going to go around talking this way, you better have a backup. >> it seems the problems aren't going away. let's put it that way. i sympathize a little bit with what he was trying to say. i still don't agree with it. but he keeps getting caught on this. and not a good time for this country to have that narrative. and it's going to be a good one for obama.
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to take on. >> well, i'll tell you what, a lot of republicans, richard, are looking around this morning going, okay, round one is over. the four big ones in january are done, and here we are with two terribly flawed candidates, do we look elsewhere? do we look at santorum? what do we do? >> i don't buy that. i still think these are the candidates we have, and i also think that mitt romney is going to be the republican nominee at the end of the day. and it seems to me it's awfully late to be thinking about -- >> we've had four states, right? four states have gone by. newt's right, there are 46 still to go. >> sure. >> why does it have to be? it sounds like you're saying mitt romney has won. and i don't have a dog in this fight because quite frankly i'm depressed by the entire field that's left.
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but why is mitt romney inevitable after only four states? >> it's very hard at this point. look, you're a professional in this, i'm not. for someone to start to get in to raise the money to put the organization in place. it's hard to see how an outsider now engages the primary process. >> do people possibly turn to rick santorum and say we don't like the top two guys? >> there's a lot of his agenda that wouldn't generate widespread support. as of right now, less than 5% of the total delicaegates have bee allocated. by the time we get to super tuesday, we'll still be just over 10%. it still is -- newt is right in a strict sense. it's early still. that doesn't mean richard's not right also. it's hard for some new person to come in, not impossible, but hard. it's crazy the notion that the race is over. after 5% of the delegates have been allocated. >> and we've got a guy clearly, willie geist, that keeps
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sticking his foot in his mouth. in the worst possible way. i say the worst possible ways because it plays into a preexisting stereotype. >> it plays into it and the campaign spent the day yesterday trying to explain context, unfortunately, as sad as it may be, the context doesn't matter because that one line he said is going into ads and it'll be added to the highlight reel into the rest of this and into the general if he makes it that far. we've got a lot coming up. developments pertaining to the mission in afghanistan with richard haass, there's a story about sugar being a toxic substance, it should be regulated just like alcohol. >> what about the donald? >> we've got the donald. i think you all should listen to this story. >> joe's chopping up a line of sugar there. >> that's a belushi line right
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there. >> what did you say? i'm showing you how silly you are. >> mika, never do that. >> that's good. >> the line was -- >> can't even watch that. >> what is wrong with you? >> what's wrong with you? you're about to go into this tirade about sugar. >> talking about people putting their foot in their mouth. >> you're talking about sugar being a toxic -- >> yeah, actually, i am. i think it is. >> my grandma from rural georgia just sugar sugar sugar, lived to be 93. >> we have "politico" coming up, but we'll go to the guy who puts his foot in his mouth every day. bill karins. bill? >> not as badly as you two are doing today. good morning, everyone. groundhog day. the theory is that if the groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks, if he doesn't, four more weeks. hasn't been winter around the country anyways. it's cloudy, most areas of the country. a couple hours from now, about one hour from now, we'll see if
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phil sees his shadow there. odds are, he will not, and that will mean four weeks until spring. don't tell the people of colorado, nebraska, or iowa anything about spring because they're going to see that major winter storm, one of the first winter storms. denver could end up with about a foot of snow. forecast in the east, nice day today, not as warm as the last couple. some rain is exiting off the coastline of virginia, north carolina, and late today we'll see some thunderstorms in san antonio. west coast, great weather for you over the next couple of days. you're watching "morning joe." yeah, they're having fun, probably not sober either, brewed by starbucks. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different.
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♪ this is pitiful. 1,000 people, freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat.
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what a hype. they used to mean something in this town. they used to pull the hog out and eat it. you're hypocrites! all of ya! you got a problem with what i'm saying, larry? untie your tongue and you come out here and talk, huh? am i upsetting you, princess? you want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong phil. i'll give you a winter prediction, it's going to be cold, it's going to be gray, and it's going to last you for the rest of your life. >> oh, my goodness. well, look, we're back at gobbler's knob. >> we sure are. it appears they have children there. what's going on? >> she doesn't like -- >> i'm cold and who are these people? what? i'm sorry. i have family members who love -- who make their year revolves around groundhog --
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>> to gobbler's knob? >> of course, i loved it. >> joe's spiritual home. you see this afghanistan news -- >> time now to look at the morning papers. we'll get to that. from the "wall street journal," drug maker pfizer has recalled about 1 million packs of birth control pills that were not packed correctly raising the risk of unplanned pregnancies. in question are packs of loval 28 and the generic version. >> that's not good. the parade of papers. top executives at american airlines have outlined what they expect employees to give up. as the company restructures from bankruptcy. the proposal calls for eliminating 1,300 jobs also terminating pension plans and cutting back health care benefits as it tries to cut labor costs by 20%. and you know, the thing is, giselle, it's a good thing giselle cares about these people because she has a prayer chain
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going around. >> she does. it's on the front page -- >> praying for the working people that are suffering. here we go. and here's a photo -- >> tom brady's girlfriend. >> wife. >> wife. here's the front -- >> she sent an e-mail. it says my sweet friends and family, i feel tommy needs our prayer, our support, and our love at this time. so i kindly ask all of you to join me on this positive chain and pray for him so he can feel confident, healthy, and strong, envision him happy and fulfilled experiencing with his team a victory this sunday. love g happy face. >> if you're undecided about who to root for on sunday, as a giants fan, submit that, exhibit "a." >> i actually think i may be pulling for the giants -- >> i think i got sick. >> as much as i love the patriots. >> she was thinking about praying for our soldiers across -- >> instead she wants him to win the super bowl.
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all right, one more from the los angeles times. everybody listen, and you be quiet. researchers from the university of california say sugar is so harmful to the human body it should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. researchers proposed regulation such as taxing all food and drink that include added sugar. they also suggest banning products with sugar or other sweeteners in or near schools and placing an age limit on purchases. don't laugh. our obesity problem doesn't revolve around just fat. it revolves around sugar is infused into our diet and force fed to americans because it's hard to find good food anywhere. >> it's like john heilemann told me, like -- >> healthy food. >> -- last week. it's like everything in moderation, whether you're talking about sugar or heroin or red meat, everything in moderation, right? >> everything in moderation. everything in moderation, especially moderation. >> what if you only have everything all the time?
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>> good philosophy. >> that's a good philosophy. >> everything -- >> that's the most profound thing i've ever heard on this show. >> carbs, sugar. >> spent time privately with john heilemann, moderation is not in his diet. >> it's a serious problem. the executive editor of politico, mr. jim vandehei. good morning. >> how are you? >> we're doing all right. reporting 2012, a new year, a new you, a new beginning for the trained relationship between house speaker boehner and majority leader eric cantor. before we explain the new relationship, what was the old relationship? why didn't they get along? >> they've had tension going back years. both of them want to be leader, this happens all the time in congress where you get the people with power and they want more power. and their staffs have been at war for some time, and it bothers other members.
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it makes people suspicious of motives when they're in the private meetings trying to decide the direction of the party. and things got so bad, members were starting to complain privately that their staffs had sat down and they're calling a truce promising to get along with each other and cut the crap so they can get along and have a unified message heading into the election. truth is, it's going to be tough to do. this bad blood has been there for some time. it's been disruptive for republicans, it's hard to imagine it just suddenly goes away. >> so they're going to be getting along now. we've got to ask you about a big endorsement in this campaign, the don. the donald himself, the associated press is reporting donald trump will now endorse a candidate for 2012. who is it going to be? >> we understand it's going to be newt gingrich. he's going to get the donald's endorsement. for what's that worth. i don't know what it's worth other than a lot of publicity today. i was thinking about this overnight. if donald trump were to match some of these big millionaire
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super pac donors and pump a lot of money into gingrich's super pac, that could make an appreciable difference. i don't know there's tons of voters that are going to make or break their decision on whether or not donald trump lays his hand on a specific candidate. so the only other interesting component of this is, is in the next couple of days, if you do have donald trump, sarah palin, michele bachmann, a bunch of anti-establishment conservatives rally around newt gingrich and say he is our alternative to mitt romney, that could give a big lift. but i think in isolation, i don't think it does that much. >> and willie, all the candidates have gone to trump begging for his endorsement, so i think whether you agree with it or not, i think they consider it to be very important to them. >> everyone who visits new york has gone to donald trump's office and made a big show of it with cameras and everything. >> given how tough february is for newt gingrich, i think any day where newt gingrich wins the news cycle is a good day for him. but jim makes the right point. if this is part of a picture of
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a lot of the leaders rallying around gingrich, it starts to draw that bright line between him and romney more starkly and gives -- it keeps gingrich in the news in a month it's going to be very bad for him. >> you can be sure of at least one thing, it's going to be a great press conference. trump, newt, vegas, it's on. jim vandehei, thank you. >> coming up, tim tebow pays a visit to jimmy fallon and tells jimmy just how he feels about the tebowie character. plus, mitt romney finds the guy who glitter bombed him yesterday. >> wave your hand over here. there he goes, hi there. how are you? how are you? the best part of any great meal?
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time for some sports. we've covered the tom brady giselle e-mail, we'll move on from that. that's your super bowl update. >> let's think about that. i didn't know you were doing that. what do you think? >> i think it's fine for a wife to encourage her friends and family to cheer for her husband.
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i think that's fine. >> i know, that was really catty of me, i'm sorry. >> that's fine. >> let's show a little nba. earlier in the week, lebron james credited griffin with the dunk of the year. it was the talk of the nba. in case you missed it, monday night, griffin -- of the oklahoma city thunder, but it turns out, not everybody was impressed. i'm speaking slowly so we can keep watching this. perkins' teammate, doing the right thing, kevin durant sticking up for perkins says i have no appreciation for that dunk at all. it was a lay-up. he threw the ball in and got fouled and made his free throw. so it was three points no matter how it happened, how it went in the basket, i was not impressed. he finished it. so what? we moved on. kevin durant sticking up for his teammate. that's all he's doing right there. can we see it one more time. >> no! >> that is not a lay-up.
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the super bowl as i said, three days away, tim tebow still in the headlines. he's down in indianapolis for the game. jimmy fallon is hosting his show there in indy ahead of the super bowl. he's there to promote his new memoir "through my eyes." of course, the first question out of the gate about the phenomenon known as tebowing. >> it's praying, but it's a phenomenon that's it's caught fire. >> well, you know, i'm not sure, but i've got to believe that i'm probably not the first athlete to get on a knee and pray. i know. just throwing that out there. i know there's a lot of jokes and everything, but one of the coolest parts was there was a boy who actually twittered me and was saying, you know, i'm tebowing while keyboarding. and we kept in contact and i was able to fly him out to a game and he was going through this trouble. a lot of cool things happen, but that was one of the coolest to spend time with that kid. >> there you go.
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tim tebow talking about tebowing. jimmy fallon got the idea to combine tim tebow and david bowie called tebowie. ♪ tim tebow to jesus christ ♪ commencing fourth down hut hut hike ♪ >> okay. so last night, tebow was asked what he thought about tebowie. >> we created a character, what if david bowie met tim tebow. we called it tebowie. and that's tebowie. i appreciate you being a good sport about this whole thing. >> well, the only thing that was kind of messed up about it was, i mean, you were a little bit off tune and a little pitchy, you know. i mean --
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>> he's good. tebow is good. >> adorable. nice, joe. defense secretary leon panetta announces american combat forces will step back in afghanistan some time next year, a year ahead of the previous timetable. we'll ask richard haass to help us through that news. and fans go on the attack in egypt, more than 70 people have died. the latest when we come back.
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42 past the hour. a couple of other major headlines to get to this morning. after more than a decade of war, the end of u.s. combat operations in afghanistan could come as early as next year. well before the last american troops are scheduled to leave the country. defense secretary leon panetta
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says the timetable is part of a pentagon strategy to transfer responsibility to afghan forces. panetta drew comparisons to the u.s. drawdown in iraq where combat operations ended 16 months before the final american withdrawal. the pentagon plan was met with criticism from some members in congress, including senator john mccain who said the decision to end combat operations "sends exactly the wrong signal to our friends and enemies in this conflict. it continues the administration's misguided policy of publicly forecasting its plans to withdraw from afghanistan. this reflects domestic politics in the united states, not conditions on the ground in afghanistan." of the 90,000 troops currently in afghanistan, 22,000 of them are due home this fall. all u.s. combat troops are expected to be out of afghanistan by the end of 2014. and willie, the one thing i'll say in response to senator john mccain, you could say that forever, could you not? >> let's be clear about what
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leon panetta said yesterday. the news in here, it's been moved up a year, we won't be in combat operations, but we will still be in afghanistan at least through the end of 2014. >> we'll still be there, 2014, and probably if we can arrange it with the afghan government, we might be there longer in an advising and training role. indeed i would argue we should. this not so much moves it up, it gets specific. the administration never set a date when combat operations were going to end. what they decided quite honestly years more of combat were not going to have results that would be worth the cost in american lives and american money. and i think what this is a realization of that. >> combat ends a year and a half from now and then we move into sort of fighting side by side with afghan security forces through 2014? >> through training, more advising, exactly, side by side, and a slight scaling down of the afghan security forces. a realization that an enormously large afghan army is probably not realistic to sustain. >> heilemann? >> we on this show have been
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arguing for a long time kind of the collective wisdom around here is we've got to get out, endless wars, all that stuff. make the case from john mccain's point of view why this sends the wrong signal. make that hypothetical case. >> if you're trying to negotiate with the taliban, you've got to give them the sense there's no alternative. years and years of fighting or negotiations. and what this does is send the signal that probably you're not going to have to fight for years and years and years, the united states is going to wind down its role and therefore might make it more difficult to negotiate. people like me would say the negotiations weren't going to work anyhow. this is realism. i want to get to two other topics, if we could. let's go to egypt where a soccer match ended where at least 74 people were killed when fans from rival teams attacked each other with knives and clubs. the riot left at least 248 people injured, many in critical condition today. the country's security forces are under fire for failing to
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stop the violence. in fact, some lawmakers say the police actually allowed the attacks to escalate to justify the need for military rule. it was the worst incident of soccer violence anywhere in the world in more than 15 years. in a rare tv interview today, the head of the country's military council vowed to track down those responsible for the riot. bigger picture, richard haass, what are you seeing in the pictures and violence that ensued? >> the guys that did this, they're called ultras, but what it will do, it will further discredit the military, further polarize the country. it's creating a sense or revealing a sense of lawlessness, a lack of legitimacy on the part of the security establishment. there's no good story here. this is bad in the immediate sense of the deaths, but also this will contribute to the sense of political unraveling in egypt. >> yeah, absolutely. and also earlier this week, u.s. intelligence officials, we
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reported on this, testified before congress talking about their concerns about iran's willingness to conduct an attack on u.s. soil. what do you think that has to do with the bigger picture in terms of threats to american security? and whether or not they are completely serious about this, how can we really know? >> there were two interesting things that the director of national intelligence said. one was in the short run, the immediate possibility that hezbollah could carry out terrorist actions on american soil. this is a way that the iranians want to tell us, if you or the israelis attack our nuclear installati installatio installations, we have ways to retaliate against you. the other thing pointed out was the long-term, the single biggest threat facing the united states is not iran, not china, from his view, it's the cyber threat. given how important our -- technology-based society, we are very vulnerable to these hackers, be it from states or more important these non-state actors sitting out in places
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like china or russia. >> i don't think there's any doubt that people think iran is the biggest foreign policy challenge that whoever the new president is or the existing president is after in 2013 and beyond. what do you think the odds are it actually comes to a head sooner than that? that this becomes something that has to get dealt with in the context of this presidential campaign? >> i think decent. i spent last week several hours with the defense minister of israel, the deputy prime minister of israel. he's talking about a concept where he's basically saying israel can't wait to where the iranians build up enough nuclear material in protected places. even if israel strikes, enough of the iranian material and technology would survive, israel would not accomplish a lot. he calls that a zone of immunity. his position is israel cannot wait until iran achieves this kind of zone of immunity. that's his way of saying the clock is ticking. so i think the odds are three, four, getting close to 5 out of 10. this could actually be an issue
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some time in 2012. >> what's the tipping point for israel? how will they know? what's the point they say we can't stand for this anymore? >> it's going to be a complex judgment. what they think they can accomplish with their aircraft. it's not a single line, it's a dynamic judgment. not whether iran does this, this or that, they're going to say what can we accomplish and attack? how far can we set back the iranians? and when they feel they have too many things in too many places that are getting too protected, they're going to say our patience, our tolerance has run out. israel has a shorter time line, less tolerance, if you will, than does the united states, than does the rest of the world. that's why there's so much emphasis on tightening the sanctions, possibly putting out new negotiating positions to see if we can get the iranian government to budge. otherwise, we are moving very closely to a decision either where there's going to be an attack or the world's going to have to learn to live with an iranian nuclear weapon. no one likes either of those choices. >> thank you very much. coming up in a few minutes,
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senator chuck schumer and herald ford jr. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." for fastidion emily skinner,
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i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. >> did you just suggest you don't need to care about the very rich because they're fine? but also equivalently the very poor because they're okay too? because you know the reason the net is there is they're not okay. it's like a doctor going, you know, i'm not concerned about the very healthy because they're doing fine or the very sick because, you know, morphine. you know what i'm saying. >> wow. that was a good way of putting it. >> not going to hear the end of that one. there's a protester out on the campaign trail. out there for many months throwing glitter on the republican candidates. >> is that why you've taken so much time off? >> yes, it is. >> michele bachmann was glittered at some point. yesterday in eagan, minnesota, it was mitt romney's turn while he was working the rope line, the protester dumped a box of glitter on the governor. there it is, that's the same
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guy, same glitter. romney, though, took it pretty well. >> there's the guy. wave your hand over here who threw the glitter. there he goes. hi there. hi there. how are you? how are you? good to see you. i'm happy for a little celebration. this is confetti. we just won florida! we're just going to win the white house next! oh, i've got glitter in my hair. that's not all that's in my hair, i tell you that, i glue it on every morning whether i need to or not. >> that's not all that's in my hair. >> it's cute. >> what was he referring to? >> hair product. leave-in conditioner, a mousse of some sort. you know how he sang the other day? >> yeah. >> he went back for more. >> encore presentation. governor romney again singing the same song, this time in eagan, this time with glitter in his hair. >> i love the hymns of america, by the way, america the
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beautiful. o beautiful for spacious skies -- not just me now. ♪ o beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountain's majesty above the fruited plain ♪ >> that's the second time i've done that, you know. if we keep that up, if we keep that up, i'm going to have to get singing lessons because i'm not so good. >> fun with glitter, i would argue. more fun with glitter. >> they were asking him to sing. >> he takes requests. >> it was nice. coming up, senator chuck schumer of new york and our good friend harold ford jr. when "morning joe" comes back.
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♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪ ♪ i suggest you take a tip from my bro ♪ ♪ and download the app that lets you know ♪ ♪ at free-credit-score-dot-com now let's go. ♪ vo: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™. ♪ >> now, let me say something here. i'm fed up with politicians in either party dividing americans against each other.
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i am running to be the president of all the american people, and i am concerned about all the american people. let me shock governor romney, the founding fathers met the very poor who they called americans. my goal is to find steps for every american to have a job, every american to work, every american to be able to buy a house. >> wow. >> well, welcome back to "morning joe." it is the top of the hour. the sun is coming up over washington just barely. looks a little foggy. john heilemann is still with us. and joining the set, msnbc political analyst and former democratic congressman harold ford jr., who like my friends and family in lancaster, pennsylvania, celebrates groundhog day. >> every year. >> do you go to gobbler's knob? >> i've already been. that's why i was a little late this morning. >> that's a live picture.
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>> has a vacation home -- >> well, they're celebrating. they see what happens with the groundhog? >> it's one of two things. if he sees his shadow, there's more spring or there's not more spring. i have no idea. was that helpful? >> that was fantastic, thank you. we'll find out soon. and t.j. will be watching -- monitoring those pictures with his face glued to the monitor in the control room because he's sort of into that stuff. so let us know, t.j. we'll be talking about mitt romney now and what he said that touched off a huge backlash. this was, of course, another comment that is in a series of gaffes that feed into a narrative about his inability to connect with the common real hard-working american. take a listen. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very
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rich, they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the very heart of america. i said i'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, i'll repair them. the challenge right now -- we will hear from the democrat party the plight of the poor. and there's no question, it's not good being poor, and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. but my campaign is focused on middle income americans. my campaign -- you can choose where to focus. you can focus on the rich, that's not my focus. you can focus on the very poor. that's not my focus. >> harold, he spent a lot of yesterday trying to walk that back, trying to put it in some kind of context, but it's hard to get around saying -- no matter what your beliefs are, no matter what kind of life you led, articulating i'm not very concerned for the very poor. >> it gives credence that he's a scripted candidate when not given precise words, kept in a precise box and frame. he veers out of it and found himself in trouble. he repeated and repeated i'm not
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focused on the poor. 46 million americans living in poverty, i'm not focused on their needs. i understand you focus on the middle class and that's great. but he's got to be careful. politicians make mistakes, but when your narrative becomes a constant mistake, you've got real problems and he's facing one. >> it's bad timing on a number of levels. in about a minute, we're going to go to joe scarborough simulcasting with the "today" show because he's over there. is this something that liberals will feast on or conservatives? >> well, i think liberals will feast upon it as liberals do. they point to his policy agenda and there's some reason to suggest he's not making it an aggressive proactive way -- approach to try to fix the problem of what the suffering of a lot of americans. conservatives are upset for a different reason. they see it as a political problem. here's this guy who is now our prohibitive favorite to be the nominee and he keeps making these mistakes in terms of
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managing his own public image, giving democrats fodder for painting a caricature of him that will be damaging in the fall. for a lot of republicans who are not that enthused about romney to begin with, he's sewing more doubts. >> the "wall street journal" has an editorial this morning. what mitt really meant. and it says in part this, mr. romney's failures to communicate are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts but haven't spent their lives thinking about politics. still, his business now is politics and as the republican front-runner, he has an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address america's current problems. so, again, this is a problem for mitt romney. >> mika -- >> hold on one second, but we're going to go to the "today" right now. i know what you're talking about, the little people. we'll get to that in a minute because that has a huge impact.
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let's go over to the "today" show. >> you're laughing already. >> they're doing more than scratching their heads. conservatives are wringing their hands. really? you say you like firing people? now you say -- he's playing into the worst stereotypes. >> he has a habit of tripping over his own tongue. >> and he does on the worst issue. on whether he can connect with middle class americans. the guy's fabulously wealthy, he's admitted paying about 15% in taxes over the past couple of years. these sort of statements as rush limbaugh says plays into the prototypical biases against rich republican candidates. >> in the exit polling coming out of florida, when the voters were asked which candidate best understands the problems of the average person, mitt romney faired best with 34%. is it sliding off his back? >> i don't think it's going to slide off his back. you know in south carolina exit polls showed that people there thought that newt gingrich was the most electable in the general election. so you can throw the exit polls away. the real problem here is that
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republicans don't know who to support. they thought romney had the best shot against barack obama, they thought that this was a year they were going to win big. and now they've got two candidates who are front-runners who are obviously flawed. >> let's talk about this endorsement as we're going to hear it's going to happen in las vegas with donald trump. i've always been a bit baffled by why the gop candidates felt the need to pay a courtesy call to donald trump. i never saw him as a king maker. what does this endorsement if it happens do for newt gingrich? >> well, you know, there may be the beginning of a narrative that outsiders, republicans who are outsiders are going to start moving away from mitt romney. we were talking about it earlier on our show. this matters if, let's say it's followed by a sarah palin endorsement, rush limbaugh endorsement and other people who are wary of mitt romney. but by itself, by itself i'm sure newt would rather donald just open up the checkbook and write a couple million dollars.
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>> who is the endorsement they both really want? >> jeb bush. >> that's who it is? >> marco rubio would've helped in florida, but mainly jeb bush is the guy that's the king maker. also, though, this is what's so frustrating for republicans. they're waking up on groundhog day, and i understand we could be interrupted at any time if news breaks from pennsylvania. but here we are, and only 5% of the delegates have been awarded. we've got 46 states to go, and yet people are already saying you're stuck with mitt romney. or you're stuck with newt gingrich. and most republicans are saying, really? is that all we've got in a year? again where unemployment's over 8% and barack obama's added $5 trillion to the national debt. is this really how it's going to end up? it's very depressing for the party. >> you talk about how early it is. if mitt romney were to win every delegate from nevada on, he couldn't get to 1,144 before april 24th. it is nasty, joe, you saw what
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happened in florida. who in the republican party if this continues to be that blood bath is powerful enough to step in and say, guys, stop it, we have a general election to worry about? >> nobody. there is no republican establishment anymore. there is no democratic establishment anymore. we saw that four years ago when barack obama stepped in front of hillary clinton and bill clinton and got the nomination. so these establishment figures don't exist. they can walk out of the back room and say, guys, sit down, calm down, let's be peaceful. >> you wrote in colorful terms that newt gingrich is a survivor. i won't go into your quote, but can he go 46 more states? >> that depends on whether a certain guy in las vegas wants to keep writing checks. it all comes down to whether he keeps the super pacs going. you know, last summer a lot of people quit newt's campaign because he wasn't doing the sort of work you have to do to build a national organization. we're now seeing the effect of that. he doesn't have the national organization to go 46 more
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states unless he's got million nars th narrows that will keep writing big, big checks. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that was joe on the "today" show. he's going to run back across the street and continue hosting his show here in just a moment. but harold ford jr., i so rudely cut you off. matt asked him, is the party so confused? is it going to be so frustrated they look for someone else? and who would they want? i don't know if that's where they're at. but certainly conservatives are very upset about what mitt romney said, rush limbaugh attacked him. it wasn't just the "wall street journal." some mainstream major core conservatives have said, wow, what are we doing here? what is he thinking? is he really the right one for us? >> they probably will continue to ask that question. look, primaries do this. the primary between obama and clinton four years ago was not -- didn't have all the
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characteristics of this because i think democrats were confident and comfortable with those candidates. but you always find differences. four years ago there was real reluctance on the part of some clinton supporters to be supportive of obama, but they came around. why? because they didn't want mccain, they were disgusted, tired, in some range of what bush had accomplished the four years or eight years prior. this go around, the question i would have for conservatives is are you going to vote for barack obama? we would gladly take that as a democrat. two, there's a waning in influence of some of these rabid conservatives. they've preached over and over again how they were not satisfied with romney, but he continues to perform well and continues to win. the point i was going to make into break, the -- when he said the little people. there's no doubt that mitt romney and republicans aren't comfortable talking about poor people or hard-working americans trying to get into the middle class. and that will be exploited by
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democrats rightly so. and mitt romney will have to get better if he's going to have a chance to win this election. if he's the nominee. >> there's two things to harold's points, though. i think one of the -- there's an open question about whether this race is going to unfold like -- be more like the 2008 race between hillary and obama where in some ways the competition elevated both of their games. they were much better candidates by the end than when they started or whether it's going to look more like ted kennedy and jimmy carter where if newt gingrich tries to destroy romney and tear the party apart, that could be a much worse scenario for republicans. and i think that the other question that i think, you know, a lot of republicans are looking at this and wondering whether romney can -- whether romney can rise to this challenge and that's a -- that i think you didn't have that in 2008. i think most democrats were very personally invested -- and there
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was a lot of bitterness. but in the end, those were two figures of great stature -- at the end of the day, going into a general election, they were confident behind either one of them. >> the clinton/obama -- gingrich and romney very, very different candidates, but the dynamics is the only point i was making a parallel. >> to harold's point, in 2008, on the republican side, john mccain, didn't we have this same moment where rush limbaugh and everybody else said we can't go with john mccain. he's not conservative enough. and the question was, what are you going to do? are you going to vote for barack obama? won't conservatives, republicans at the end of the day come around and realize that their dislike for barack obama is greater than their dislike for mitt romney? >> i think in the end the republican base will rally to whoever their nominee is because the main thing that motivates them is -- the point joe was making on the "today" show, the
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republican establishment and the democratic establishment don't exist in the previous form, but if you read the "new york times" today and talk about the way in which the super pacs have created a way for all of this money to influence the race, the way the republican establishment, at least the financial establishment can put its thumb on the scale is through those vehicles, that's why romney has such a huge advantage over gingrich now. he's so much better funded, so much more money coming in both to his own campaign and through the super pacs. that's where the establishment, it's not the elected class, it's the money class, and the money class has this way of being able to get in and say we're going to really weigh in on the side of mitt romney even though we have doubts about him, we have a lot more doubts about newt gingrich and that's why in the end, i think, romney wins the nomination because he has so much more in terms of resources and that's sort of how the cookie crumbles. >> some key endorsements should come his way at this point. is this late in the game for someone like jeb bush to endorse him? donald trump is now endorsing
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newt gingrich which you have to ask him about. but these are -- could they make a big difference, as well? and is it kind of late they haven't happened yet? or am i -- does anyone know what the -- >> i agree with joe. i think the jeb bush endorsement would be important, and i think the rubio endorsement could be important, as well, as he tries to answer questions, romney, that is, about his appeal of hispanic voters. whether he's too anti-immigration. but jeb bush is no doubt the catch that everyone's looking for. he brings that establishment and the kind of comfort that a lot of moderates and a lot of money on the sidelines, the establishment money that would go to his campaign. >> all right. coming up, we're going to talk to nbc's chuck todd. also "time" magazine editor rick stengel. chuck schumer on how political cash is changing the political process. but first, bill karins with
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a check on the forecast. >> good morning, mika. just minutes away from punxsutawney phil sticking his head out and telling us whether there's six or four more weeks of winter. if he sees his shadow, six more weeks, if he doesn't only four more weeks. cloudy across pennsylvania, so odds are only four more weeks. yesterday was just incredible. it was 72 degrees in d.c. it felt like april. today, we're watching a winter storm. this is going to be one of the first blizzards of the winter season. talking from the denver area out into nebraska. some warnings have been issued. we could be talking about 1 to 2 feet of snow there, late tonight and tomorrow. as far as groundhog day goes, not many shadows to be found. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. minutes away. in america, we believe in a future
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♪ the voters deserve to know the ugly truth of who's behind
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the super pacs. take carl rove's cross road pac, it reported yesterday that it raised just over $18 million in 2011. more than half came from the same individuals and groups that funded the swift boat attacks against john kerry in 2004. looks like karl rove is getting the old band back together to run swift campaigns across the country. >> joining us live from capitol hill, chuck schumer. also with us, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown" chuck todd. good to have you both with us. >> good morning. >> i'm going to start with you, senator schumer. and just kind of launch right into the topic, if i could. we have the rebuttal right now from the national republican senatorial committee, and they
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point out you are the number one recipient of wall street money in the senate and it's funny you're decrying the role of corporate money in the political process. is that a fair criticism, sir? >> no, of course not because they don't want to address the issue. number one, it's not corporate money, that can't be given to an individual. number two it's disclosed and disclosed immediately and there are limited amounts. $5,000 per individual. this is not millions of dollars anonymously given and running huge kinds of negative ads. you know when you have a small number of very wealthy people able to control the process as they have been anonymously, it's corrosive to democracy. so we're evolving. the present campaign finance system, the one we had ten years ago may need some cleaning up, but it's not close to as damaging and as evil, really, as this present system. and the nrfc, why not the nrfc
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instead of making false and unbalanced accusations, why don't they join us? >> hold on, senator. people know you as the senator from wall street. when you held that press conference yesterday, everybody that i know, democratic and republican laughed on -- i don't know that chuck would be the first guy i sent out there. i don't say this as a negative, i say this as a guy who turned to my chief of staff the second you ran the senate fund raising commission. i said the republicans are in trouble because this guy knows how to shake money out of the pants of wall street guys. and you know what? i was right. it's the system. i'm not knocking you for it, but i am asking, are you really the best person to come forward and decry the powerful interest of corporate money? >> well, i'd like to see some of my republican colleagues doing it. let me tell you, joe, there's a huge difference between the old system where money was disclosed
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and done in relatively small amounts in the new system to say that because the old system had problems we should just shrug our shoulders about a dramatically different new system where people can write $5 million checks and anonymously put ads on television that are negative almost 92% in this primary, it's a huge leap. when there's no disclosure, there's no accountability, and no control, and it's our democracy run amuck. >> senator, we agree -- senator, we agree -- >> i don't think it's really a fair argument to say you don't like the old system, i didn't. i fought for reform from the day i got to congress. i'm the author of many reform bills, but to say because the old system is not good that we should tolerate huge changes, which are dramatically worse, that's not i don't think a very logical argument. >> the reason these changes aren't good for the process and the super pacs are really hurting the system.
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we all agree on that. you talked about your republican colleagues and how you'd like to see them decry it. would you think perhaps that senator harry reid should revoke the e-mail he sent out soliciting to pacs and trying to get unlimited funds to help him and to help the democratic party? what about people in your party who have done this? >> well, look, the vast majority of this when you look at the numbers is on the republican side because they have most of the wealthy, wealthy donors -- >> no, we don't. no, we don't! you've got all the rich guys on wall street that have supported democrats for years. >> joe -- joe. look where wall street is giving. they're giving overwhelming to republicans now because people like myself have passed the dodd/frank bill that people don't like. >> they're not giving money anymore? >> no, very little, anymore. >> to you? >> to me. because they didn't like the dodd/frank bill which i think is balanced reform and fair reform.
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>> right. >> and they don't like the idea of saying that we think millionaires should pay a 30% tax. >> so senator, just -- i'm talking historically, what presidential candidate received more money from wall street than any other president in the history of the united states? >> well, you know, i guess you mean barack obama, and i'm not -- >> i was just asking. >> okay, i don't know. >> it was. it was barack obama, and there's not a close second. >> i will tell you this. in this election, wall street is giving money overwhelmingly to republicans because they didn't like the dodd/frank bill. and you have lots of democrats who used to give to democrats in 2008 giving to the other. let me say this, it goes way beyond wall street. it's a small group of ideological millionaires. it's the old swift boat people. it's people who give millions of dollars and who really have a hard right ideological agenda who are controlling this.
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now i say get rid of all of it. >> right. >> we had 59 votes. every democratic vote in the last congress to at least have disclosure, we voted for disclosure. they all voted against it. why? and the reason is because overwhelmingly the undisclosed million dollar, $5 million contributions are going to the republican side. i don't want to make this a partisan issue, you asked these questions. >> i know, i'm sorry. >> we need at the very minimum disclosure. >> i agree. i think we should have immediate disclosure and when somebody writes a check, i think you should scan that check, i think it goes up -- by the way, we've got breaking news and more bad news for you, chuck schumer. more bad news. >> wait, wait, wait -- >> it is not both parties doing this. >> we've got six more weeks of winter. and i'm very sorry -- this is breaking news. this is very important. >> oh, gosh. i'm sorry. >> can i ask you a question, though, senator? and this is the most important
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question of the morning and then we need chuck todd's response, do you think it makes it easier for barack obama to win the election? or harder for barack obama to win the election that mitt romney has now started burning $1,000 bills on stage? i mean, seriously, could this guy do you any more favors than saying i like firing people? you're happy about -- we're talking money -- you don't need money to win this if he keeps talking like this, do you? chuck? >> oh, i thought it was chuck todd you were asking. >> no, i'm talking to you, senator schumer. >> no, no, no -- look, i think mitt romney is desperately searching to show he's a middle class candidate, but he's not. his upbringing is not middle class, his policies are not middle class, his thinking is not middle class. barack obama has found his stride and focused on the middle class. so romney tries to reach. because it's not real and doesn't come from the heart, it's sort of false.
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he makes these gaffes as he did yesterday and they sort so far show the true person. the average middle class doesn't say the poor, to heck with them, and romney doesn't get it. and i don't think he will get it. and that's why i think he's a weak candidate against barack obama because he doesn't have that internal gyroscope that says i am middle class, i care about the middle class, i want to do things for the middle class. >> all right, senator, before you go, just curious on this super pac issue. and i know we've sort of tried to come at you with a tough question -- >> we're having fun. >> all's fair in love and war. >> senator, i wonder, it is a little bit. will you concede that you're in a little bit of an awkward position because there are members of your party that will be benefitting from super pacs? >> no, i think, look -- >> and both sides need the money. and until it stops on both sides, you have to play both
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games? fair enough? >> you can't unilaterally disarm, but we will make a major issue in the next six months of reform. i am chairman of the rules committee. that puts me in the position to be involved in this. and we're going to have hearings on the super pacs, we're going to ask the leaders of the super pacs and the contributors to come before us and ask us why they don't want to be for disclosure and reveal what they're doing and you will see this will become a major issue in the campaigns and in the 2012 election. and the american people, democrats, independents, and republicans are overwhelmingly on our side. >> all right. senator chuck schumer. >> we love having you. >> i love being here. every so often. as long as, look, joe, as long as you're not for the new england patriots, you can say anything else you want. >> you know, i was -- i was about to root for the patriots and then i saw the front page of the "new york post" today. i think i'm going with the giants. >> go giants. >> all right, senator chuck schumer.
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>> let's get you onset here. and when we come back, we'll have the other chuck. chuck todd is still with us. we will talk to chuck todd about the impact of mitt romney eating $1,000 bills as a finale. >> oh, goodness, what are they doing to the animal? that's disturbing. >> what are we, cnn? come on, take that breaking news banner down. we'll be right back on "morning joe." [ female announcer ] the best things in life are the real things. nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious. this is mary...
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back with us now, chuck todd. hey, chuck, let's start by talking about chuck schumer decrying the -- >> super pacs. >> the use of big money in american politics. go. >> thank you. >> well, if the super pac -- if the super pac fight was even right now, would we be having these hearings? it's a fair and very cynical question i have on that number one. it's lopsided, and if it weren't lopsided, we'd be seeing these hearings? second, you know, there's a super pac with a bunch of ex-staffers from democratic leadership called majority pac
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2012 that's sole purpose is to raise money to try to hold the senate. now, what schumer's doing frankly by calling these hearings, he's guaranteeing that group's not able to raise any money. that clearly is what the hearings are intended to do, which is to spook donors. you know, the fear of being dragged before congress. but why there isn't just a full-fledged conversation, somebody ought to reintroduce mitch mcconnell's alternative bill to mccain/feingold back in '98 where mcconnell was for instant disclosure raising the limits. somebody ought to do that. it's at this point -- if the supreme court's going to rule the way they're going to rule. if that's the law, well, then okay, at least get it within the confines of the actual political party system. >> i think that would be moving in the right direction, actually. instant disclosure, raise the individual limits, and you let the light in. so, chuck, we've been sort of joking a little bit about mitt
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romney this morning. >> right. >> it's actually for republicans, for conservatives, this is nothing to joke about. this is a year that many thou t thought, you know, this was the republicans' year to beat barack obama with all the economic problems. but they've got mitt romney who just keeps shooting himself in the foot. after winning a huge victory in florida, he goes out and makes another one of these, "i like firing people," "i'm not worried about the very poor" statements. what's happening? >> well, what ai've been stunne at, there wasn't this flock of republicans saying there goes the media again. i talked to a couple yesterday who were just like, you know, what's with this guy? you know, why can't he just do the basics? yes, it's -- you can look at what he was trying to say, you could make a case that it was
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out of context and all of this, but the unforced errors after running for president for as long as mitt romney has is starting to wear thin. and you can see there's a lot of concern among some members of the republican
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>> conservatives aren't bashing the media here. it's rush limbaugh, it's jonah goldberg. a great piece saying, what's wrong with this guy? erick erickson, the "wall street journal," i mean, you're talking about the most influential conservative saying, mitt romney is really making our job a lot harder. >> yeah, conservatives got an opening too with the content of what he said. they weren't worried about him saying i'm not concerned about the poor, they were worried about him saying we need to strengthen the social net, they went no, no, no -- that's not the answer. so chuck, what happens? i think a lot of republicans have come to the point where they say, okay, this is mitt romney, this is the guy at some point there's a pattern. maybe it was out of context when he said i like firing people, maybe they think this was out of context when he said i'm not very concerned about poor people. he's going to make some of these
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mistakes. the fact of the matter is, he can't pretend he's in touch with the middle class, the problems, because he isn't. so how do they change him? how do they deal with this guy going forward? >> well, i think the lesson you've seen in past -- in the past is don't try to change a candidate. >> right. >> so instead, figure out how to try to turn it into somewhat of a strength. you know, they did, they were hoping to run as the successful businessman. and you know, part of this has been the pressure that the obama campaign's also been trying to put on romney of trying to paint him as a caricature of a successful businessman that wasn't really involved in the job creation process, was more involved in this idea of creative destruction, wall street capitalism versus main street capitalism. and i think that pressure has gotten to the romney campaign a little bit. they've been pressing particularly. notice all of his -- all of these verbal gaffes or verbal mistakes have come on this issue
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of trying -- ability to sort of connect to the middle class or -- or working poor or the poor itself, and so -- and i think it's been this overall pressure they decided to run as something, businessman, and the entire counter argument to him from the democrats has been, yeah, but not the kind of businessman that works on main street. and i think that pressure's gotten to him a little bit. so you know, one thing you learn, you don't try to change somebody from what they are, instead, try to accentuate more of their strengths and down play weaknesses. >> chuck, harold ford, the second part of what he said is he's not out to defend the really poor or really rich. does that help him? is he trying to position himself as the voice and the advocate for the middle class? i guess he has to have policies to support that, but if he had defenders here and i'm not one, just trying to be playing devil's advocate. at both ends, i want to protect
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the core of america. is he able to play off that? >> the p point was it was sort of, i think it was jonah goldberg's piece pointed out, do it the way clinton did it. talk about the middle class if that's what you're trying to focus on rather than in an odd way, you know, romney was almost introducing the idea of class warfare without it being warfare, bringing up the other classes saying, no, no, no, this is almost sort of endorsing the idea that, yeah, you're going to focus on one class over another, which, of course, republicans usually decry number one. two, i think it is going to force them into keeping a position or holding a position on the minimum wage. i thought it was fascinating yesterday that he came out and said, yes, i still believe the minimum wage ought to be part f of -- ought to be pegged to cost of living increase, pegged to where we are in the day rather than waiting for congress to do it.
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i'll tell you, there's a lot of conservatives not happy with that position. and their sneaky suspicion is he's only sticking with it because of his verbal gaffes. >> thank you very much. we'll see you on the "daily rundown" right after "morning joe." coming up next, rick stengel is here to talk about the latest issue. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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southern district with his indictments yesterday of three bankers from credit suisse. he is in effect criminalizing the meltdown. americans have been yearning for somebody to come along and say, look, who's accountable? who's account for these subprime mortgages? >> a big question, why is it nobody's been thrown in jail? >> well, that's right. >> good point. >> so the u.s. attorney, first indian-american u.s. attorney in new york is starting that process. >> who's he going after? >> well, he's gone after, you know, roger adam who we know about already. roger gupta from mckenzie. and then yesterday was the -- was really interesting because the first guys are these guys who are using collateral debt obligations to backup subprime mortgages, which is really the
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poisonous toxic financial instruments that brought about the great recession. and so those indictments were on the front page of the "new york times" and the "wall street journal" today and yesterday. >> are the people connected with the big banks? >> well, credit suisse. he's been mostly going after hedge funds. now he's starting to go after the regular commercial banks. and, again, not -- i'm not implying, you know, that they're all, you know, filled with m malifactors, but starting at a mid-level and presumably he'll go up. a number of these guys are becoming defense witnesses. and he's using unorthodox tactics of wiretaps, listening in on these calls where, you know, expert witnesses are actually giving inside information to banks that banks then trade on. >> so you also have a story about a company that is in the
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news. >> yes. >> facebook. >> yes. >> big story. one of the big stories this week. >> do
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hell to elect somebody, do we want mitt romney for eight more years?
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a big government republican? >> no, there's that feeling, some conservatives feel like it's back to basic principles, let's look at what happened in the post war conservative party, actually our opening piece by david kind of traces back the conservative movement to post n candidate doesn't represent everything we want. it's better than certain alternatives. mitt is a movement conservative. people feel he is an unexploded weapon. >> you have nick gillespie who is the editor of reason. ann coulter. >> sam tananhouse. >> we're only missing joe scarborough. >> so you have a very expansive idea of what is a conserve tichlt by tconservetive. by the way, sam is held up working on that buckley book. >> i called him. "time" did a cover in '67 on
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buckley with a beautiful david levine caricature. worth reading. >> no doubt about it. >> one quick question. >> i don't know if you're going to talk about the great don cornelius died. the soul train founder. someone that influenced every american. introduce d black culture to american households. >> did you print this at midnight? >> it's very kind. >> it's a magical process. i don't know how it happens. but, boom. i'm on set of "morning joe." i left the office at 9:00. there it is. >> i have an image of harold dancing in front of a mirror as a child. >> i still do it. >> harold got down. >> that's your big contribution to the discussion. >> all right. >> that's the best i can do this morning. >> really quickly, because i
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can't remember. it always seemed to be on. always, you know, every saturday morning, i would hear the sound of "philadelphia." i mean when did that start? '73? '74, soul train? >> it started before that. the late '60s. >> it was the great counter point to "american bandstand." >> quincy jones said it best. before mtv, there was "soul train." that introduced america to black music. >> there it is. >> for people too young to remember, on saturday, dick clark, "american bandstand" and then done cornelius on "soul train." and it was -- you say what, black america was -- the great thing about "soul train" is a lot of white kids were watching "soul train" and getting clued into the
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generational thing. you know, that is the genesis of the white affiliation of hip hop. >> you have "american bandstand" and then switch to "soul train." >> okay. the new "time" magazine says this man is busting wall street. thank you so much. >> so much. >> more with "joe" in just a minute. ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪ and even better for your customers. ♪
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if you have questions about your current treatment, ask your doctor about reclast. all right. still ahead, mitt romney draws heat from the left and the right over a comment he made yesterday about taking care or not taking care of the country's very poor. we'll talk about that next. [music playing] confidence. available in color. depend® for women is now peach. looks and fits like underwear. same great protection. depend®. good morning. great day.
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we can raise taxes on people. corporations are people, my friend. i should also tell my storey. i'm also unemployed. $10,000? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> i know what it's like to worry whether you're going to get fired. there were a couple times whether i wondered if i was going to get a pink slip. >> that means if you don't like what they do, can you fire them. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. >> good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast. and it's groundhog day as well. welcome back to "morning joe" as
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you take a live look at new york city. we have john heilman and richard hos. >> i think willie would agree, one of the great movies of all time. >> any time. >> that's why i went to willie. you didn't see "groundhog day." here's the day. bill murray wakes up and he keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again. >> right. >> until he gets a chance to get his day just right. and when he gets has day just right, finally he gets to move on to february 3rd. i hope you see the movie now. >> talk about spoiler alert. 80 years later. mitt romney sort of thought in his own groundhog day -- >> good point. good point. >> every day. >> all right. >> what's he thinking? >> very well done. >> i saw a lot of liberals yesterday saying there is nothing. it's the conservatives that are
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wringing their hands and sweating and going, this is the guy that we're -- whether it's "the wall street journal" or jonah goldberg, the national review, eric ericsson, i think rush limbaugh even weighed in on this thing. come on! don't make it so easy for the democrats. >> it doesn't help with the narrative. >> at least he's not rich. >> no. he's filthy rich, actually. but that's okay. >> see, that's interesting. republicans don't think can you ever be "filthy rich." >> i know, you can't be rich enough, can you? you just need more. you have to devour everything. you don't really care about the impact it has on your life or future. >> i think, you know, there are two effects. obviously, it adds another clip to david axelrod's greatest hits reel of that character he can
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admit romney. that's all true. i think your point is important. you know, conservatives. it fuels -- everyone on the republican side, it fuels their sense of concern about mitt romney's ability to be a good general election candidate. the paramount strategic challenge is to control your public image. that is what a presidential campaign s contest between two public images am people trying to define each other. he is making the election seem very easy. i think a lot of republicans look at that and say, man, you know, with this guy, he keeps making the same mistake over and over again. and the president is going to pull the wings off him like a fly under a microscope. >> this is the guy that is supposed to be enestable. this is a guy that is supposed to be the best bet to beat barack obama. and he does things like this. it actually tears the wings off the inestability argument.
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>> it does challenge the strategy. if the strategy is to make the election a referendum on barack obama and the economy, you don't want to make it on mitt romney. that goes against his own strategy. >> so here's the former massachusetts governor yesterday morning. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. i'm worried about the very heart of america. i'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, i will repair them. >> the challenge right now, we hear from the democrat party, the plight of the poor and there's no question it's not good being poor. and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. but my campaign is focused on middle income americans. my campaign -- can you choose where to focus. you can focus on the rich, that's not my focus.
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you can focus on the very poor. that's not my voek focus. >> okay. we have growing numbers of poor in this country. >> that's not good. >> romney spent a lot of time tying to take back those remarks. he says that they are back by food stamps and vouchers that are available to middle income americans. but many commentators took issue with his comments. mitt romney plays to the liberal caricature. and in the national review online, jonah goldberg's headline reads, what's wrong with this guy? and radio host rush limbaugh offered his take as well. >> i'm not worried about the poor. we have a safety net. the safety net is one of the biggest cultural problems we've got. the safety net is contributing to the destruction of their humanity and their futures. everybody knows what he's trying to say but he didn't say it. and he makes himself a target
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with this stuff. he comes across as the prototypical rich american. wizards of smart in the republican establishment. we can't have newt out there, why, newt's going to be the topic. we need obama be the topic. well, what -- what evidence is there that it's not going to be about romney with these kinds of statements? >> you know, that's actually the point of the day. we've been hearing all along that oh, if you nominate newt, it's going to be -- yes, if you nominate newt, it is going to be all about newt. but the idea was that you could turn the focus on romney on obama if you put romney in there. i'm telling you, with every one of these gaffes, he's coming off a huge win in florida. >> yeah. >> he should be talking about this. again, i -- and don't know personally. i hear the words were taken out
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of the proper context. i don't know anybody that has had any exposure to the quote very poor could even allow the words i'm not concerned about the very poor to cross their lips. and i don't want to sounds self righteous here. i'm not kicking mitt romney when he's down. i'm just saying for me, as a conservative even, i'm concerned when i hear somebody say i'm not focused or concerned about the very poor. wave seen the very poor. not as much as i know a lot of people. but, i don't know how anybody says that. there is a disconnect there. >> you're not campaigning. but you do a three-hour show every day without a tell prompter and have to watch your words. you don't do a great jb every day. but still, i think that actually
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adds to your point. those words would not cross your lips. they just wouldn't. there are things that just wouldn't happen. and they are with this candidate. >> and it suggests that there is a real disconnect. the i light the fire people, yes. yes, i know what he meant when i says i like to fire people. >> i know what he meant. >> but it's one of those things, yeah, i know what it feels like to be unemployed. no you don't, mitt. your father ran a huge car company. he was a powerful politician. no, you don't know what that's like. just like let's be blind. a lot of our children are not going to have to worry as much as i know some of us here had to worry growing up. you know, am i going to be able to take care of a family? am i going to be able to go to a good school? there's a disconnect there that's really troubling. >> i think if you make this -- there is slipups that you sometimes make. you say things inartfully and
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the press jumps on those things and takes them out of context and it is unfair to people. romney has done this over and over again. it starts to raise the question, you know, rush says makes it easy to paint a picture as a prototypical rich republican. people start to wonder, maybe he is just a prototypical rich republican. joe, you remember back when jack kemp was a major figure in national republican politics. very conservative guy. >> right. >> these kinds of things never would have come out of jack kemp's mouth. because he was really concerned about the very poor. jack kemp was trying to figure out a way in an active way all the time and there are other republicans, i'll single him out because he was a vice-presidential nominee. he made a big part of his agenda, how do we help those. >> and jack kemp would come to the caucus in '95 and '96. jack kemp, of course, not the greatest debater on the planet in '96 either. but he would come to our republican caucus and hammer us about the poor.
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make sure that whatever you do, whatever your plans, are you got to -- how does it help the very poor? how does it help the middle class? how does it help the working class? >> and then there is the "wall street journal" talking about it this morning. >> they write an editorial attempting to defend mitt romney on this. they write that mr. romney's failures to commune are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts, stul his business is politics and he has an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address america's current problems. they go on to say, it's probably time to stop pretending that you can relate to people who have trouble troubles. embrace who you are. you are a wealthy guy. this deal about going out and reaching out and showing can you relate to the problems of the people comes across as inauthentic because it is. >> you know, in 1988 when george h.w. bush was running with a
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million different problems, sort of being painted as this sort of caricature. he let everybody know he drove around washington listening to country music and ate pork rinds. i don't want to hear that. no. be a leader. be who you are. stop pretending you're something that you're not. we may have the same situation here with mitt romney. he doesn't -- don't tell people you know what it's like to possibly be fired or to have a pink slip because you don't. >> it's interesting. one of his potential advantages in the race is the fact that he is a successful businessman. he is a good manager. the economy is obviously the biggest issue in the election. so focusing on that makes the most sense. >> yeah. and you know, john kennedy never said i feel your pain. you know? fdr. you might -- here's the great example. my parents, my mom born 1932 in the depths of the great
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depression and d depression in rural georgia. it was hard to be poorer in those times. boy, it was a bitter, bitter landscape in rural georgia in 1932. my family fougthought fdr was g. my mom said on the day that he died that they all -- they thought the country was coming to an end. they revered him like a king. he was remarkable. and, yet, fdr never once tried to relate to my family in rural georgia. he was fdr. he was a very rich man from a very wealthy new york family. and my family didn't give a damn. they loved him. >> they loved him partly because he had an array of policies designed to help them. and they identify with those policies. because although he didn't try to pretend to be the common man, he tried to implement policies that government could enact that would help the plight of the
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poor. if you want to be mitt romney and his campaign and you demonstrate that he cares about average americans and poor americans, they could aggressively campaign on policies that would help those people and explain how his platform, things he cares about, things he wants to do as president would help those people. and not worry about whether he relates to them. >> and if you believe, like i believe that, a lot of liberal policies going from 1965 forward have actually made the situation worse for inner cities, for the very poor, for the truly disadvantaged, explain that. have that debate. don't just talk about how lowering capital gains rates are going to help spark business creation. if you're going to go around talking this way, you better have a backup. >> it seems like the problem is not going away. let's put it that way. i sympathize a little bit with what he was trying to say.
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i still don't agree with it. but he just keeps getting caught on this. and not a good time for this country to have that narrative. and it's going to be a good one for obama. >> i tell you what, a lot of republicans are looking around this morning going okay. round one is over. the four big ones in january are done. and here we are with two terribly flawed candidates. do we look elsewhere? do we look at santorum? what do we do? >> i don't buy that. i still think that these are the candidates we have. and i also think mitt romney is going to be the republican nominee at the end of the day. and it just seems to me it's awfully late to be thinking about pulling someone else up. we've had four states. right, there are 46 still to go. >> sure. >> why does it have to be -- it
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sounds like you're saying mitt romney has won. and i don't have a dog in this fight. quite frankly, i'm depressed by the entire field that's left. but why is mitt romney inevitable after only four states? >> it's very hard at this point, you're a professional in this, i'm not. for someone to start to get in to raise the money and put the organization together, it's hard to see how an outsider engages the primary process. >> do people turn to rick santorum and say we don't like the top two guys? >> i think there is a lot of his agenda that wouldn't generate enough people. >> less than 5% of the total rendepublican delegates are allocated. by the time we get to super tuesday, we'll be over 10% of the total delegates are given out. it still is -- i mean newt is right. it is still early. that doesn't mean that richard is not right also, it is very
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hard for a new person to come n it sure is crazy the notion that the race is over after 5% of the delegates are allocated. >> and we have a guy clearly, willie geist, that keeps sticking his foot in his mouth in the worst possible way. i say the worst possible way because it plays into a pre-existing stereotype. >> it plays into it and the campaign spent the day yesterday trying to explain context. unfortunately, as sad as that may be, that doesn't matter. the one line he said is going into ads and will be added to the highlight reel we see this and the rest of the general if he makes that far. >> up next, author of "greedy bastards," dylan ratigan is back on tour and also with the new spy novel that bill clinton personally helped edit. we're going to talk to the author thomas caplan. first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good morning. the breaking news is in.
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the great prognosticator saw his shadow. partly cloudy skies. but that means six more weeks of winter. six more weeks of winter. maybe this is your way to say six weeks of winter because we haven't had a winter yet. we're seeing a winter storm brewing in the west. one of the biggest winter storms we've seen this winter. bliss ard warning are issued outside of denver and through areas of eastern colorado, western kansas and nebraska. that storm is going to be heading in today. it will snow all night tonight and into tomorrow. it will be a snow day for all the kids in denver tomorrow and teachers, too. that will extend through nebraska. that pink shading, that's as much as six to 12 inches over a large area. they haven't had a lot of snow forecasts or snowstorms. since it's groundhog day, not a lot of shadows to be seen. cloudy skies in many areas. but that rain in north carolina is moving on out. and there it is, he saw his shadow. shadow.
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it is wrong for anybody to suggest that the only option for struggling homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. government must take responsibility for rules that are fair and fairly enforced.
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banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practice that's helped cause this crisis in the first place. >> welcome back to "morning joe." joining us is the host of "the dylan ratigan show," dylan ratigan. he is also author of "greedy bastards." >> hey, dylan. there's been obviously a lot of talk about mitt romney. he is stumbling over himself on like firing people, pink slips and yesterday not worried about the very poor. we all understand in its proper context if you look at -- in all of these segments, if you look at -- >> the totality of what he is
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saying. >> -- can you get to what he is saying. but all the columnists are saying what's wrong with this guy? he's killing us republicans. what's your take? >> here's my two cents on mitt romney. everybody thinks mitt romney is because he's rich, out of touch, he's not as connected to people. i think that is wrong. i actually think that mitt romney, if you look at his history, there are lots of folks in new york and around the world who do and did what mitt romney did and they're very socialable and very relatable. they happen to be very rich. but they also happen to be very socialable. and very good at relating to people. i think mitt romney's problem is he is more of a weirdo from boston. it's less that he's rich or poor. it's more that he's just kind of a strange guy that doesn't relate to people that well. he was poor, he wouldn't relate to people that well. if he was rich, he wouldn't relate to people that well. he is a strange dude. and so he screws things up. i think that we're overthinking it beyond that. >> so what you're saying is to
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understand mitt romney, you have to understand the anti-colonialism, bostonian world view that he is involved in. >> i think he is more about what you're saying and about his sense of being excluded from the very super elite of the leverage buyout community. we have the cool boys club. he was not always included in that club. so you're seeing somebody who wants to be included but is a strange guy that people haven't always wanted to -- it's like what do you want? what do do you with mitt? >> harold ford, you know what is so fascinating about mitt romneyment what people are saying about mitt romney, they go, like what dylan said, this guy is just kind of weird. he's kind of weird. and when people say that, others will go, well, you know, that's just code language for he's a mormon. people say, you know, barack obama, he doesn't know how to relate to people.
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and then people, you know, on the left go, you know that, is just codeword for that is he's black. and sometimes people are just weird! >> that's all i'm saying, man. >> sometimes they're just disconnected. >> that's all i'm saying. >> you want you to do that voice again. that was classic. >> you know. >> who is that? >> that is -- >> that's a republican. >> that's wires on the right and left trying to make something more of -- this ain't code talk. sometimes they're just weird, harold. >> i think dylan touches on some points. it will be interesting to see how, look, fog goerd how this guy deals with this. i applaud dylan's book. i applaud this 30 million jobs tour. the question around jobs, i know your focus. "the wall street journal" has a piece this morning showing that the cities and counties across the country that perform the best during this recession were
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those cities and states that had rich and natural resources and how the oil and gas industry propelled job creation and median income increases. i've not read the book. i watch your show. are you promoting these kind of job -- this kind of job creation as well? >> absolutely. 30 million jobs, as you know, there's no linear solution, no politician in the world, no institution, no government can create 30 million jobs. 30 million jobs is the stakes much it's what we need in order to do it. you have to create environments for it and entrepreneurial environments and culture of investment and education. you need pillars of industry which is where i'll put energy at or near the top along with our basic infrastructure. then you need to go it teaching and health. the real premise of the entire thing is if you do not have a culture of investment through your bank tax and trade policies in your country. if we're not investing in
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america, private money, public money, all money, then you're not going to have job creation period. you have to understand that that investment flow is a precursor whether it's into an entrepreneurial environment or an industrial environment like energy to any job creation. >> by the way, willie geist, a plowed you just in general. >> thank you. >> willie isn't weird. >> you're adorable. >> great politician. >> i applaud you. >> i applaud this book. i applaud everything this book stands for. i haven't read the book but a plaud i applaud it. >> i will say on a serious note, dylan ratigan's book has been in the top 15 books in america in the last two weeks. complete validation of everything he is doing every day at 4:00 on the air. i applaud you. >> thank you. >> i actually mean that sincerely, dylan. we had chuck schumer on our show about an hour ago. he wants to hold hearings later this month about the influence of superpac money that we've seen so much in this presidential campaign. it's coming off a supreme court
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decision. do you think anything comes out of these hearings that's tangible, effective, that actually moves the meter on getting money out of politics? >> this is one of the lowest hanging fruit in america. republican party, as you know has been saying forever we must have transparency with campaign finance. we have to see the money. that is the conservative narrative. democrats say we have to regulate the money. you got to regulate money and politics. well, we now have unregulated, nontransparent money. what we need to do in the building behind me today is immediately pass a superpac transparency bill that forces the disclosure of this money as soon as possible because i can't find a conservative, a liberal, independent, libertarian, a mormon, christian, muslim, i don't care what you are that thinks secret money is a good way to run our country and refusal of this congress to do that very simple thing, i think, may ultimately be the greatest catalyst for change. because this so absurd, so
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toxic, so obviously corrupt that if our congress can't get together to create transparency legislation, hthen we know this thing needs an overhaul. >> how exactly does that change the game? do you think american voters are going to be online saying okay, there is the scanned check. i'll draw the line back -- how does that change the game just by knowing what's out there? >> you know what? it creates more currency for the media and other politicians. for instance, we know the only reason that newt gingrich is in the presidential race is because an aging casino billionaire really wants newt in there because he doesn't like mitt romney. the rest of all this is a bunch of nonsense. jon huntsman would not have been in the presidential race if his father didn't give him the money, 70% of the superpac from his dad. look at newt gingrich, he's a
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viable politician. no, he's a guy that knows a rich guy in las vegas who is bank rolling the campaign to be a pain in mitt romney's backside. the ultimately we're in a situation where our electoral systemengineer gerry mannjerry r money. and then down the line through gerry mannedering and resolution of money and politics. >> that is incredible. there is a story about superpacs. there is an illustration where he talks about there is the disclosures. there is one contribution to a superpac backing mitt romney with a company with a post office box with no known employees. that's where we are. my question for you is historically, everybody in the world this is like a mom and apple pie issue, there's no one who isn't outraged about the
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role of money and politics. this is going on for 30 years. it never had any actual saliency as a voting issue. people complain about it all day long. it's a process issue. people say forget about it. >> nobody cares. >> how is that changing your all around america? are people going to start voting on this issue or squawking about it? >> that's a great question. i think what i'm looking for to give you an analytical response to that question because my opinion is as good as yours or anybody else's. we're seeing movement on a state level that we haven't seen before, both on gerrymandering, incredible movement in florida on gerrymandering. we saw gerrymandering action in california and also in eye ichlt we have the montana state supreme court decision saying that corporations are not people in montana. so really i am really encouraged both by the response i'm seeing directly as we travel around the country which is overwhelming, the rooms are selling out. obviously there is an enthusiastic response for the
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book and enthusiastic response for the show and that's what our narrative is. whether that converts into political action, john, you may be better to guess than i. but i'm encouraged by what we're seeing on a state by state level to deal with electoral reform beyond money and politics just a sense we have a corrupt electoral functionality between the issues of closed primaries, jerry mandzerring and money and politics. i would say at least on a state level, we're moving in that direction. >> all right. "greedy bastards" is now in the third week of "the new york times" best seller list. >> thank you, dylan. >> let's applaud him. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> by the way, your father , hi book is going to crash the top ten. >> yes! >> it's as exciting as "greedy
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bastards." father, really? do you even want to go there? >> let's applaud john. >> yes. >> strategic vision. >> okay. coming up next -- >> congratulations. >> he's done. coming up, author thomas caplan who had his friend president clinton edit his new novel.
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the other office devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up." in business, it's all about reliability. 'cause these guys aren't just hitting "print." they're hitting "dream." so that's what i do. i print dreams, baby. [whispering] big dreams.
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the spy who jumped off the screen and here's what his college classmate president clinton wrote in the book's introduction. "this is a tale of the daunting challenge of separating the guilty from the innocent. who are the real villians? what are their motives? few of us will guess correctly in every instance. that's the fun of fiction. but the story also reminds us that in real life such mistakes have consequences. we must keep nuclear weapons from getting into hands that are prepared to use them. if we fail, our world will not
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be the same thereafter." >> thomas, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> that guy that wrote your interducti introduction, you first met him 50 years ago in georgetown. >> we have to be accurate. >> you get quite a history with him. you even helped him run for freshman class president at georgetown. >> that's true. we game president, it was an accident of the alphabet. the university said students from diverse backgrounds, we have discovered that everybody in our corridor went for bastian to duffy. >> can you tell when you first met the president that he was just a born leader? >> well, you know, i know he was a leader. i knew he was unusual. he was the only person around
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with a great southern accent and all that charm. >> tell us about the book. >> the book is a thriller. it's meant an entertainment. it deals with a very serious issue which, is you know, the chance that nuclear weapons will get into the wrong hands or hands of people that might misuse them. the hero is called ty hunter. as a younger man, he had been in covert operations. he worked in the special teams that have numbers and no names and -- intervening that by the time he was 32, he is the number one movie star in the world. >> right. >> and the president, not president clinton, but a fictional president white, presses him back into service because he's had access to the villian who might be in the process of trying to sell the
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weapons. and the interesting thing is he uses his fame to deflect suspicion of him. and he can go places other characters can't. >> now, you talk about bill clinton and when you met him back in georgetown. he also helped edit this. >> he did. >> that's fun. >> he is a great fan of thrillers. i knew that. >> we have somebody on the phone. let's bring him in right now. you know what we call that in the south, we call that high cotton. my grand mom would say, aren't you living in high cotton? let's talk to your editor right now, mr. president, thank you so much for calling in. >> good morning, joe. how are you? >> thomas is a little surprised. you guys go back quite a ways. >> 48 years ago. >> what was it like editing a former roommate of yours? >> you know, we've been friends since we were 18 years old. it was a lot of fun. i actually wanted this book to be a big success.
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it was the most imaginative thriller he ever read. that is high praise for a guy that will sell a lot more books than i ever have. the thing that struck me, it was fun and entertaining to actually learn about a problem that we still face in the world and that we will face in the future. and we actually teach people about it and it was fun. you might actually put it on the radar screen. as far as i know, this is an issue that has not been discussed in any presidential debate yet. we keep majoring in the minors. so here we have a really interesting book. and so i did. i worked on it hard. i tried to help tom to, you know, make it as appealing as it could be. i thought it was not only fun and interesting but important. >> mr. president, it's willie geist. we appreciate you calling in this morning.
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>> talk about what your friendship has meant since you were 18 years old. >> when i met him, he was sitting in a rocking chair at 18 as i remember listening to music from "gone with the wind." >> my goodness. >> you know, we lived down the hall from each other. we were freshmen in the dorm. we struck up a friendship. he invited many he to the eastern shore of maryland. became friends with his parents and he supported me when i was a student politician running for office. and came to my, you know, inaugural as governor and we just have been friends over all these years. we maintained our relationship. and we continued to be friends with three other people that shared a house with us when we were seniors at georgetown. we just all stuck together through our whole lives. and so we know virtually
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everything about each other, good and bad, and we've been through the ups and downs of life together. and i read every one of his novels. i watched him grow as a novelist and as a person. i thought, you know, i'm thrilled about this. i even -- even at our old age, we can do things that i like on must facebook. >> so thomas, tell us, bill clinton back in georgetown, was he as outgoing? did he like to talk to people back then for long periods? >> gregarious, i thoi half the people i knew at georgetown i knew because i knew bill clinton. because he just has that wonderful -- which he got from his mother. >> even as a freshman at georgetown? >> he always liked people and always been interested in them and their stories. and, you know, his mother had a wonderful expression. she used to say, she was positive attitude about life. five pieces of bad news one
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piece and go with the good news. she was always positive about people. she used to say, it's easy to remember people's names and stories if you care. she cared. he cares. and that's -- >> that says a lot. >> and, mr. president, you can't fake that. and we've had this discussion a lot over the past month or two. yo look at certain presidential candidates. it's no not just in one party. we've seen it in the last five, ten years in both parties. some of these people that want to represent 300 million americans just don't seem to be comfortable even around one or two americans. and it is the damneddest thing they even get into this business in the first place. it's kind of tough. >> you kind vf to like people. >> you have to really care about people. >> well, if you go back to the history of the country, to be fair though, we've had a number of presidents, some of whom did remarkable things who cared about people in general but had a hard time relating to them in
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particular. but in the modern world where people like you guys and programs like this bring it all home to people. it's harder to pull off. we've had a lot of presidents that were awkward and with people individually but cared a great deal about what happened to the country and the kids and the future and, you know, whether somebody can steal a nuclear weapon like this book talks about and blow it up. but because of the immediacy of the modern media, we need to make sure we're raising people who do that. and one of the things i worry about is the average -- i saw the other day where the average student with a cell phone sends over 80 text messages a day. and that if kids spend more than two hours a day on any electronic device, including television, it may interrupt their ability to concentrate and to have real tangible relationships with people around them. i was raised in a story telling
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culture without a television. and so i can't take any credit for this. my whole family believed everybody was inherently interesting and had a story if you could just figure out how to listen to it. >> all right, mr. president, we know you have to go. thanks for calling in. >> thank you. >> my friend, it's gay booa goo >> that's a great point he made about all these kids sending 80 text messages and going online. you don't have -- you know, when you -- there are not a lot of kids sitting in rocking chairs listening to music these days and on college campuses. >> he caught me at an off moment. those days are still here. >> we'll save that. >> so the president believes, and i suspect you believe, too, that this could get people actually talking about an issue that matters greatly to all of us. >> i want it to be factually true which i think it is.
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and it is factually possible and entertaining, therefore, something you would actually read from start to finish. it's meant to be fun. my model wasn't really another book as much as a hitchcock film. >> what motivated you to write about nuclear weapons? >> the character, covert op turned movie star out of the blue. one day just driving going to a friend's house for dinner, i thought of it. and then the plot by which the weapons were secreted at the fall of the soviet union and then smuggled out, same thing. i have no idea where it came from. >> fantastic. >> i love it. >> it looks great. >> the book is "the spy who jumped off the screen." [ male announcer ] we know you don't wait
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welcome back. let's talk about business before the bell. we have one headline, facebook is pushing forward to the largest internet ipo on record. the company filed to go public yesterday in a move that can value the social networking giant at $100 billion. the ceo am probably drop his yearly salary to $1 beginning in 2013 while his personal fortune should soar to about $25, $26 billion. i am now officially depressed. we'll be right back.
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